20 Wedding Updos Perfect for Long Hair

Newly married couple embracing

Photo by LISA POGGI / Design by Zackary Angeline

Brides, we're gonna call it: Having long hair is a labor of love, without a doubt. And while your everyday maintenance and style routine is something you could probably do in your sleep, plenty of other factors come into play when we're talking about your wedding-day hairstyle.

Of course, we love those hair-in-the-wind moments, but how to keep tresses from accidentally whipping in front of your face if you go for a hair-down wedding 'do? Even with a half-up, half-down hairstyle, would your lustrous locks inadvertently be covering pretty details of your gown's neckline and bodice?

Updos resolve all of these questions and offer long-haired brides so many elegant options. Whether a sleek ponytail, a beautifully braided 'do, or a low-maintenance wedding bun, a wedding updo will keep those strands in place and focus everyone's attention precisely where it should be—on your radiant smile, of course. Keep scrolling for all sorts of wedding updos that are particularly perfect for long hair.

01 of 20

Redefine Sleek

Newlyweds first look


We love when brides get creative with the classics—adding small details or playing with the tried-and-true to make the look all their own. Sleek doesn't always have to mean minimalist, and this bride definitely proved that by deftly injecting loads of volume in a way that didn't sacrifice smoothness or gloss.

02 of 20

The Relaxed Updo

Bridal portrait by pool

Photo by Volvoreta; Event Planning by Kamila at Sonhos Cerimonial; Floral Design by Maria Salazar 

There's no rule that says an updo has to have every strand perfectly in place. In fact, it's one of the reasons we love this bride's unfussy updo, which is finished with a few face-framing waves and topped with a flower crown. Easy, breezy, and positively beaming—wouldn't you agree?

03 of 20

Reach New Heights

Bride in nude ensemble holding vibrant bouquet


The great thing about long lengths is that they can contribute to achieving all kinds of height on your bridal 'do. Whether sweeping your down-to-there braids into an intricate topknot or polishing off a larger-than-life ballerina bun, the high placements always beautifully elongate the neck and clear the way for some memorable jewelry.

04 of 20

The Polished Ponytail

Back of bride's wedding gown with bow detail

Photo by Kent Drake Photography; Hair by Tamara Makeup + Hair Artistry

For an updo that puts your gorgeous long locks in the spotlight but still keeps your hair pulled back and in place, you can't go wrong with a ponytail. Soft waves infuse this polished pony with an added dose of romance, which feels just so right with this stunning, blush-hued trumpet gown.

05 of 20

Say Yes to Side-Swept

bride and groom kissing

Photo by Lisa Poggi

So timeless and just so chic! We love the look of a side-swept wrapped bun, which works beautifully for all kinds of hair textures and all sorts of bridal styles, too. Case in point: This lovely bride kept hers polished (and pretty much perfect) for a stunning destination wedding in Tuscany.

If your hair has some natural texture, ask your stylist to keep the 'do a bit more wavy and slightly undone for a more bohemian, romantic vibe.

06 of 20

Wraparound Milkmaid Braid

Bride with a milkmaid braid

Photo by Laurken Kendall 

Boho brides will swoon over this milkmaid braided updo, which is such a perfect choice for outdoor ceremonies of all types, from rustic retreats to desert-chic weddings to barefoot on the beach. Add a bit of charm to the style with a small bloom.

07 of 20

Embrace Asymmetry

Asymmetric, interwoven chignon with crystal accent


This couple's California winter wedding was a stunning mix of romantic, rocker-chic, and traditional elements—and the bride's glamorous, side-swept updo was no exception. Her gathered strands are accented with an eye-catching sparkly creation for the Western-style ceremony but also spilled out beautifully from the customary Vietnamese áo dài hat she changed into after the ceremony.

08 of 20

Make a Floral Statement

Bridal updo with flowers

Photo by Mackensey Alexander 

Talk about a stunning floral creation! Draped just so over this bride's finished updo of woven plaits and pinned-up curls, we love how the delicate blooms and greenery are so perfectly composed and wildly romantic all at once.

09 of 20

Veil a French Twist

Brides in wedding dresses

Photo by Thierry Joubert

For a chateau wedding in the South of France, what could be more perfect than a classic French twist? The volume of this updo will depend on the length, thickness, and texture of your hair, but it's always a showstopper—and the perfect base for a cascading veil.

10 of 20

Go for Maximum Volume

Smiling newlyweds embracing while looking at each other


When you have long tresses with a ton of natural volume, by all means, work that to your advantage! We love how this classic, swept-back chignon is fully amplified and takes on a more carefree aesthetic.

11 of 20

Embellish a Plait

Bride with floral-embellished braid embracing groom

Photo by Edward Winter for ReadyLuck; Hair by Boho Hair Salon; Floral Design by Faye & Renee 

Whether you opt for fresh florals, sprigs of greenery, or delicate hairpins—we loved this bride's cultural infusion into her plaits—there are so many ways to dress up a loose braided 'do, so that it's wedding-worthy.

12 of 20

Braids All the Way

bride and groom portrait

Photo by Callaway Gable Studios

We love that this bride went all in with a wholly braided updo for her chic restaurant wedding in Los Angeles—which happens to be the same venue where she and her husband had their first date and where they got engaged, too! Plus, being so intricately braided, this 'do is sure to last all night, even after hours on the dance floor.

13 of 20

Make a Statement With Accessories

Bride showing off hair accessory and back tattoo


Hair accessories and updos are a match made in bridal heaven. This bride's vintage-inspired hairpiece exquisitely molds to the style—and is an eye-catching statement, too.

With such visible placement, hair accessories are a perfect opportunity to incorporate your something old, new, borrowed, or blue. Take your pick!

14 of 20

The Voluminous Ponytail

Newlyweds cutting cake

Photo by To The Moon; Hair & Makeup by Karuna; Cake by Delish Caterers

For a pony'd-up 'do with a bit of retro glamour, go for big volume up top and finish with long, loose curls. How perfectly fitting is this updo, paired with this bride's incredible gown and jewelry?

15 of 20

Try a Woven Floral Updo

Woven updo with flowers tucked into it

Photo by Larissa Cleveland

One fresh twist on how to incorporate flowers into your wedding hairstyle? Instead of working with your florist to construct a custom floral creation that's then pinned into place, see if they'd be willing to collaborate with your stylist to weave florals and greenery into the strands themselves for a more unconstructed (but still flower-centric) updo.

16 of 20

Pair a Crown With a Veil

Bride wearing a veil and flower crown

Photo by Ang McCabe

Wondering how to pull off wearing a flower crown and a veil? It absolutely can be done, and an updo is the perfect base for such an utterly romantic look. The key here is to ensure your floral headpiece connects with your veil, so the look is cohesive. Also, when choosing your botanicals, go for smaller, more delicate options—they're being paired with materials, such as lace and chiffon, after all.

17 of 20

The Carefree Ponytail

Newlyweds portrait from behind

Photo by Sara Lobla

Completely unadorned and purposefully a bit undone, this bride's pony is understated but still so chic—which just goes to show, less can be more.

You need not show off a hair tie if it isn't part of your bridal look. After your pony is set, take a piece of hair from the bottom and work it around the tie, securing the last bit of remaining hair with a pin underneath the elastic.

18 of 20

Channel Your Inner Goddess

Vow exchange by beach

Photo by Lauren Alexandra 

How stunning is this bride's wedding updo, wrapped in this vine-laced hair accessory? Choosing an elegant accessory to frame your wedding hairstyle can give your 'do that much more of a wow factor.

19 of 20

A Minimalist Knot

Groom hugging bride

Photo by Kate Headley; Event Planning by Julie Vieira of Vieira Events; Hair & Makeup by Hair and Makeup by Claudine

If minimalism and understated elegance are what you're looking for, then look no further. This chic chignon utilizes that extra length to smoothly create this polished knot and work the securement strategy into the design itself, so there are no visible ties or pins.

20 of 20

Design Your Own Updo

Bride with a wispy, boho bun featuring flowers


Lengthy tresses are a stylist's playground, especially when it comes to designing a one-of-a-kind wedding updo. So why not have some fun? Gather your inspiration, and after a bit of trial and error with your stylist, you might just end up with your dream variation of an updo that's all your own. Twists, curls, braids, more formal, more undone—the options are all yours.

  • Should I hire a stylist for a long-hair wedding updo?

    This depends on the complexity of your updo and your comfort level with doing your own hair. If you decide to go the DIY route, reach out to your hairstylist for tips and tricks or, better yet, book a wedding hair trial a month or two ahead of your wedding.

  • How do you prepare your long hair for a wedding updo?

    Again, be sure to consult your hairstylist for advice regarding what products to use and even when to wash your hair. Depending on the type of hair you have, you may consider getting a blowout the day before your nuptials to give it maximum volume and texture.

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